Jump to content

Menu

If you've had/currently have a child in a classroom, I'm interested in your story.


Susan Wise Bauer
 Share

Recommended Posts

...Here's what I'm wondering: Were you able to use any resources/techniques/ideas from home schooling to help you customize your child's situation? In what ways did the idea of a parent-directed education make you able to take charge of the classroom setting? Or the reverse--did you decide to take a more hands-off approach?

 

 

We did traditional homeschooling from K through 8th grade, then one of the online public schools for 9th and 10th as a "halfway house", and then dd started a dual enrollment program at our local community college for 11th and 12th.

 

She is in 11th right now. One of the striking differences/benefits I noticed was that most of the other students (young people through adult ages) are not trained to think. Dd was able to fall back on some of the things she remembered from Fallacy Detective and Thinking Toolbox from back in 6th and 7th grades. So with my homeschool mindset, I got the books back out and she reviewed them again. She consistently gets top marks for "well thought-out" essays and papers. This is an instance of using homeschooling review techniques to polish a skill in an area where she was already strong.

 

Unfortunately, math is not her strong suit and she needs to be able to place high enough on the Compass entrance exam to place into the math classes she needs for her major and for her high school credits. We will probably homeschool Algebra 2 in order to prepare for the test. I like knowing that we can supplement whatever we need, whenever we need. Having homeschooled previously has made me aware of what types of curricula are out there and given me the confidence to know that we can use it at will.

 

So far as the impact of parent-directed education, I have a strong commitment to achieving a particular quality standard for dd's education. Even when we were homeschooling, if she wanted to study something I couldn't teach myself, I would outsource it (Chinese language classes, for example). In a lot of ways, I think I consider community college to be outsourcing taken to the highest degree. I still consider myself to be responsible for her education and I still evaluate the quality and appropriateness of all of the classes she takes. I monitor her grades closely. It is my intention to slowly transfer the reins over to dd during these next 3 semesters so that she will be ready to be independent by the time she leaves for 4 yr college. I hope that she will still discuss various administrative and academic topics with dh and I during the time she will be in college, but I believe that by that time, she should take responsibility for her decision making and consequences.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my experience of home educating, then schooling, then back to home educating, I would say that the major impact of my home schooling on the school situation was in my attitude and increased level of confidence. Instead of viewing education as something I should leave to the teachers, I felt that the teachers and other school staff were all members of my education team. I felt entitled to information on what they were doing and how they were doing it, I felt entitled to ask a lot of questions and offer my own input, and ultimately I felt entitled to judge whether or not the school was doing an adequate job with my children (in the end it wasn't, and we withdrew the children). From my observation, many parents of schooled kids don't feel able to ask questions, make suggestions and so on, but instead assume that whatever the school does is right, and that if there is a problem then that problem must originate with the child.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have six kids attending B&M schools.  After homeschooling my oldest for only 1.5 yrs, about four years ago, we have experienced the following benefits:

 

(1)  I was able to get my dd to a more appropriate achievement level corresponding to her abilities in various areas.  Her math level is now more advanced than it otherwise would have been had I not homeschooled.

 

(2)  She reflects fondly (somewhat LOL) on being challenged at home in ways she hadn't been before (e.g. Latin and AoPS).

 

(3)  I became spoiled with regard to wanting a custom-fit education for my kids.  

 

(4)  The homeschooling trump card (BATNA, for those of you who know what that is :)) in my back pocket brought me great confidence in conversations with school principals, though I found I needed to tread lightly with certain teachers.

 

(5)  I was able to introduce one school to Math Mammoth.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Susan, you are a gracious host, I am hijacking your thread because of your "ripple" theory.

 

My dh and I own a restaurant in a very economically depressed area. Our main waitress is highly intelligent, yet did not receive an education to compliment her natural intelligence. On Sunday she was bored and said she was sorry she had not brought her book to work. She has NEVER mentioned reading anything before and I was shocked. I asked her what she was reading. She replied she was reading Grapes of Wrath. I couldn't believe it so I talked to her a minute about it. Turns out that in high school she never read ONE of the books her teachers wanted kids to read for book reports. That's right, in high school she never read one book for a book report. Yes, she graduated. After being around my kids who take learning so seriously she decided to read the books she was supposed to read in high school. Somehow she got the list of books she should have read and has spent the winter working her way through it. 

 

I was so glad for her to experience literature, and I think that you, Susan, deserve a hat tip for this young woman's experience, because I don't know if she would have had it without knowing my kids, and I don't know if they would be so impressive if it weren't for TWTM.

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say that our "ripple effect" is that we chose to school my oldest son (currently in Kindy, but working several grade levels ahead) through a homeschooling charter school, here in CA. It has been the perfect hybrid solution for my accelerated, but very extroverted, learner. He takes fun, enrichment classes on site at the school 3 days per week -- stuff like Spanish, Lego, gardening, robotics, music, art, strategy games, programming, etc., and receives a classically-inspired homeschool day with me 3 times per week. In terms of materials and methods, I have complete freedom (as long as it is secular), so I essentially use TWTM and other recommendations from this board to plan our studies -- all paid for by the school. It has been a total win-win for us, and I could see us staying with the charter for K-8.

 

ETA: As was mentioned by another poster above, we are also reluctant homeschoolers. My son attended preschool from age 2-5, but was often sent to the director's office because he was bored. When it became apparent that my son was craving more, I began afterschooling him when he was in PK4. There is no G&T program in San Diego Unified until 3rd grade, and by the end of that PK4 year, I knew that I could not send my son to public school to bide his time in the regular K-2 classes. He is now so accelerated that there is really no going back for us. But again, the charter school hybrid has given us the best of both worlds.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not know if this counts, but I was the teacher who was handed many students who homeschooled various years K-8. I started my teaching through a public high school independent study program where students came in once a week for conferences and planning and once a week for student led fun stuff or presentations. Many of the kids I taught had parents who were either overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling high school or who knew they could not completely handle it due to learning disabilities (some addressed formally and some that parents knew were sort of there but not really identified.). When I later taught in a full time at risk program, these previous homeschooled kids and their parents were my greatest inspiration. When I finally came home to homeschool my son full time, they are once again front and center in much that I do.

 

One of the most amazing young people came to me at 14 after his mother had been religiously homeschooling (a term she herself used with pride) to create Christian citizens, but was at her wits end. He could not read. My first reaction was "Lady! What have you been doing!?" When I stepped back, I saw the boy had the most incredible moral compass, loved stories, was delightful in presentations and dramatic productions, and really knew a lot about the world. She had been prioritizing differently. She had different resources. However, none the less she was educating her son to be a productive citizen. Turns out he was dyslexic and after some intensive work did just fine. Had I not been confronted with this when I was young and still relatively dumb, I do not know if the impression would have been as strong.

 

My way, the normal way, the big time flashy testing curriculum way, are not the only ways. Kids need love to become positive people. Kids need someone who is willing to hear how they see the world, what they care about, and who they are. The number one impression that just oozed out of the homeschooling parents was that they cared about the details of who their students were not how to mold them into what the parent wanted the student to be. When I took that into my classrooms, students responded in wonderful ways. Without homeschooling parents, I do not know if I would have learned it.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my experience of home educating, then schooling, then back to home educating, I would say that the major impact of my home schooling on the school situation was in my attitude and increased level of confidence. Instead of viewing education as something I should leave to the teachers, I felt that the teachers and other school staff were all members of my education team. I felt entitled to information on what they were doing and how they were doing it, I felt entitled to ask a lot of questions and offer my own input, and ultimately I felt entitled to judge whether or not the school was doing an adequate job with my children (in the end it wasn't, and we withdrew the children). From my observation, many parents of schooled kids don't feel able to ask questions, make suggestions and so on, but instead assume that whatever the school does is right, and that if there is a problem then that problem must originate with the child.

 

Regarding the attitude in the part I bolded -- we encountered this attitude directly, and it was part of the reason why we finally switched to homeschooling.  One wouldn't blame a child for not being able to eat food served because of a food allergy, and yet the tendency is still strong to blame a child for "recalcitrance" when they fail to learn as expected or mold themselves to the teacher's way of teaching.  The private school that kicked eldest DD out (in 1st grade!) before the end of the school year didn't do that because she was a disruptive handful they couldn't control -- they did it because she was frequently lost in her own imagination and they feared she wouldn't do as well on the standardized tests and would reflect poorly on the school.  Their statement:  "We don't think your child is a good fit for this school."  MY child isn't the good fit?!?  YOUR SCHOOL isn't the good fit!  The next school, which took her in mid-year, was quite pleased with how she did on the standardized tests, thank you very much!

 

I heartily agree that teachers and parents are a team who share the responsibility for educating the kids, and that they need to share information regularly, freely, and willingly with each other.  The last brick & mortar school my kids attended had this attitude, and it was thanks to the sharing that we determined that we needed DD to be evaluated again in 5th grade, and to finally conclude that we were ready to try homeschooling.  The decision wasn't made lightly, and it wasn't based solely on DD's diagnoses.  Changes at the school were taking the school in a direction with which we were not comfortable, and we did not relish the idea of school shopping and the resulting change in social circles yet again.  We were not the only family leaving the school at the end of that year -- several others did, too -- which made the timing of the switch easier for the kids to accept.

 

I am not anti-brick&mortar school in the future, especially for youngest, but at this time I have no solid plans for returning them to "ordinary" school.  I'm more inclined to consider some of the options that allow dual credit coursework and more tailoring of our schooling experience.  Right now I don't have much faith in the public schools here at all, and the private schools are each pretty set on one rigid mode of teaching.

 

Perhaps one of the ripple effects is increasing demand for flexibility in learning, not only in levels of difficulty, but in teaching approaches, too.  I'm sure this demand has always been there to some degree (just less visible), but when combined with the recent decades' explosion of information and communication technologies there are a lot more possible ways to not only provide more opportunities to farther flung locations, but to present material and teach in many more varied modes and methods as well.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So far as the impact of parent-directed education, I have a strong commitment to achieving a particular quality standard for dd's education. Even when we were homeschooling, if she wanted to study something I couldn't teach myself, I would outsource it (Chinese language classes, for example). In a lot of ways, I think I consider community college to be outsourcing taken to the highest degree. I still consider myself to be responsible for her education and I still evaluate the quality and appropriateness of all of the classes she takes. I monitor her grades closely. It is my intention to slowly transfer the reins over to dd during these next 3 semesters so that she will be ready to be independent by the time she leaves for 4 yr college. I hope that she will still discuss various administrative and academic topics with dh and I during the time she will be in college, but I believe that by that time, she should take responsibility for her decision making and consequences.

 

 

This.  My eldest is in junior high right now and the high school years are still ahead of us, but this paragraph (quoted above) states my desires and intentions quite nicely.  I especially like the bolded (bolding mine).  Thank you, Hillfarm!

 

 

I suspect that demand for dual credit coursework through community colleges is going to continue to grow, and not just among homeschoolers.  Many who are unsatisfied with the current school systems' offerings and limitations are investigating these options, as are people looking for a way to reduce the years ahead to spend in college and in so doing perhaps reduce the overall cost just a bit.  MY SIL has actually voiced thoughts about sending her son to such a school for JUNIOR high.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ripples. Would that count the people I've introduced to homeschooling, or to classical resources? Would it include "educating" our fresh-from-the-classroom charter school oversight teacher in both those things? (She began homeschooling her own son, the age of my youngest.)

 

My kids have all been homeschooled, with the older 3 participating in a charter from about 7th grade up. The charter helped pay for art classes for my dd; homeschooling experience helped me find community resources (like an oil-painting class for seniors) that she could be part of and WTM gave me an outline for studying art and incorporating museum visits, etc. That child just finished her BFA at a small private art college. 

 

Because we were homeschooling, we felt free to change the paradigm the send child #2 to community college for junior/senior year. The communication and presentation skills he learned through 4-H and the writing and logic skills from homeschool did help him succeed there. He had to take a bit of remedial math, but found out that competition really spurred him on in that area and came out with the highest grade in the class for two semesters. He also took every basketball class he could (his main complaint about homeschool was the dearth of basketball, LOL). He has the freedom to take / audit as many PE classes as he wants, and makes sure to have one per class day so he can sit still and concentrate in class. In this, he is adapting his own education to his needs & interests. That child is transferring to university with an AA and a certificate in bus. marketing, just on the right timeline for him, as he had to work out what he wanted to study and didn't want to pay a high college price while he was doing it.

 

Because of my experience with WTM and here, I was able this week to talk to a new homeschooling mom - driven to a charter it because her 12yo is a struggling student whose needs are not met in the classroom. I was talking to her about separating reading comprehension from reading - read aloud and discuss/narrate! And about separating composition from physical writing - type! And about buddy reading. And so on, a few thoughts at a time.

 

As for homeschool ideas rippling back into the schools, I'm not so sure about that. I don't live in a state that allows any kind of shared participation in public schools, for sports or arts or anything. I do see charter schools as a response to parent dissatisfaction, some of which was expressed by taking kids out of the classroom to homeschool. But over the years I've seen even the charters that were established specifically to support homeschoolers become more and more rigid as they are forced to comply with NCLB and now common core. It's much worse in high school than in K-8, but I am so thankful to have my youngest not need to participate in charters (we began strictly for economic reasons, but now we're down to 1 kiddo and have a lot of resources already). OTOH, I get some tood ideas of skills to emphasize from talking with my sil's, who are teachers. We also exchange some pretty fun & useful web sites....even if they do think I am nuts for starting latin in elementary school. LOL

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if my story counts or not.
 

My background:
I have babysat and/or nannied for a LOT of kids since my teens. 

One of my last jobs before pregnancy was to babysit 2X/week for a local woman.  She knew I was "academically inclined" when working with her kids (teaching alphabet, counting, lots of reading, educational games).  After the first year, she invited me to help her homeschool her kids (on the days that she worked outside the home).  Her kids were 5yo (entering kindergarten) and 2yo.  I stayed through the end of 4th and 2nd grade respectively for the two girls.  At that time, I became pregnant with my oldest dd.

 

***I am grateful for this opportunity to experience the "big picture" of homeschooling and be exposed to many, many different types of curriculum.***

During this pregnancy, and in the months afterwards, I babysat for the downstairs neighbor girl. M.   She was 6yo and in First Grade.  Her mom worked a lot of crazy hours (as low-income, low education, single parents often do), so sometimes I would have M at 5am (before school) or as late as 9pm.  We spent a lot of this time reading reading reading, doing math facts and exploring math ideas, swimming at the pool, and learning about nature.  She was BRILLIANT; she was blessed with the deep intelligence that I only needed to teach her something for her to demonstrate competence.  She easily mastered concepts that were far beyond of what was considered "First Grade Material."  M's mental acumen has only been beat out by the 7yo I babysat once as a nanny...the one who went to the "gifted school" and could beat me at chess.
 

M attended the local public school, and we both LOVED her First Grade Teacher.  I had planned to homeschool my own baby daughter (because of my own socially traumatic public school experiences), but we live in a community with an exceptional academic record.  Mrs. Spalding was so wonderful; and my children will have their own paths and experiences through public school (and I will advocate for them if needed).

 

Then, M came home one day and shared that she had been spat on while riding the school bus.

 

Her mom had to work crazy hours the next day, but we both agreed that this needed to be handled sooner rather than later.  The mom gave me permission to go talk to the school about it.

 

I dropped M. at her class the next morning, and I went to the principal's office.  The principal was out, but the secretary was in.

**Disclaimer: I never laid specific blame on the other little boy.  I was not there.  My position was, "Something is happening between these two children, and we need to address it."

 

First, the secretary was irritated that I was advocating for a child that was not my own.  How dare I do that!?!  She seemed to miss the point that a child had been spat on.  She refused to help.  The incident happened on the bus, not at school.  Ipso facto:  not the school's problem, not her problem.

 

I walked out of her office and very gingerly removed a poster from the wall (a child's creation) with the caption, "Bullying is not cool."  I laid it on her desk.  She realized that I was not going to leave.  She maintained that it was not the school's problem, but she did give me the number for the bus company, and she let me use the phone in the nurse's office to call them.

 

Same issue from the bus company: How dare you advocate for a child that is not your own!!!  The bus company assured me that they would handle the situation, but they gave no assurances of if, how, or when they would do so.  They said that, if they felt like it, they would send me a letter recording what actions were taken.  (I am still waiting for that letter; it's been 8 years.  Nothing in the mail today from them.)

A day later, M was harassed for being "fat" on the bus.  :(

 

So, I have not sent my children to public school.   That doesn't mean I won't send them when they are older; I just don't want to send them when they are so young and vulnerable.
 

Within a year, M and her mom moved to her mom's hometown to be closer to the support of extended family.  I had heard that M's Second Grade teacher was mean to her, and I was happy that I had worked so hard with M in the time I had her. 
1) If she had a bad year because of the teacher for Second Grade, she would not be behind academically.

2) Because she knew so much of the higher-level material, I hoped that her natural brilliance would shine through and impress others in the school of her special talents.  I hoped that would find teachers or adults to shield her from the cruelties of her peers, and to give her a path out of poverty in the decades to come.

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dd went to school full time starting in 5th grade (she went to 3rd, also, but came back home for a year).

 

She currently in 9th grade, first year of high school, and doing Ancients and Medieval in history. I have to say her backround with SOTW in first and second grade has come in very handy. She didn't retain a whole lot, but some names and general information have come back around and she has a feeling of familiarity. We occasionally use the resources we have on hand from her years here and from ds' (he schooled 9-12 at home).

 

As far as my feelings about school and being "involved..."

 

I am probably the least involved public school parent imaginable. I'm not EVER at the school--no "boosters," PTA, "class helper," nothing. I kinda had the idea that, if I really believed that B&M school was the choice we were going with, then I was going to hand off her education pretty much entirely.

 

I think, secretly, I'm a little pissed off and maybe even hurt, that we couldn't continue. I do complain from time to time (and dd sometimes hears it) about the lack of rigor, esp in English (literature, mostly), and about the way they teach history (they take notes from online powerpoint-type slides, and they make one-page pictoral/text "brochures" as review). I think maybe I'm pouting, and this incredibly immature part of me wants to whisper to myself, "See? I could do so much better." I hate that, because it's so me-focused and ugly, and sort of sacrifices my daughter's education on some sort of "Altar of Homeschooling Misplaced Pride."

 

I feel a little heartbroken, really, that dd's high school education is not as wonderful as it could be. Her math is certainly deeper than I could go, and science, too, but the humanities (except orchestra--that's good) are just so blah.

I don't think there's a way for me to get involved with the school that would make it better, and I guess that's another reason why I don't.

 

I do think she'll do ok. More than ok, really--she's a straight A student, studies hard, is learning a lot, plays two instruments, etc. She'll probably go to a first or second tier college with a scholarship. But I know there could be more.

 

And that's about as honest as I can get, Susan.

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of my kids are in school this year, but we may move the eldest back to homeschooling soon because of bullying.  

 

Having been a homeschooling Mom has made it impossible for me not to customize/tweak a bit. :)  We will almost always look up the corresponding math topic in Math Mammoth (they use Scott Foresman Envision Math? in school) if they are having trouble...or more often than not, because the teacher did not do a good job of explaining it in a way they understand.   This week, the eldest two are starting Brave Writer's "Just So" writing class online.  The school they go to is a charter school (one of the Charter Schools USA) and they are computerized test happy.  Every month (!) the kids take some form of benchmarking test--even my second grader.  Next week, they have our state's standardized testing in writing, and then in April will be math for both and science for the fifth grader.   What this school does well is they have a wonderful music and art program.

 

My husband is Egyptian, so we've been doing some of the SOTW1 curriculum, although not as regular as I'd like.   We just moved and are planning to start on Pharaoh Farkhah (Chicken in Egyptian Arabic) soon.  DH1 said, "I grew up in Egypt and I never got to mummify anything."  LOL  

 

I tried to be more hands off in the beginning, but they actually wanted my help which made me :D   For now at least, the kids think that I'm their best teacher... probably because I know a little bit better on how they each learn best.  Not sure if that will hold as they get older.  

 

I'm really disappointed in just how focused on testing school is.  I knew it was bad, but this is ridiculous.  They opened a classical charter school here in the next county, and we're on the waiting list to get in.  If not, there's a good chance we'll be homeschooling one, if not more, of the kids next year.  

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our first experience with a traditional classroom setting was Thing 1's 8th grade year at a local private Christian school.  It was an unmitigated disaster.  The administration was decidedly anti-homeschooling, and made it clear that our resources, techniques, and ideas were unnecessary and unwelcome.  The year was, by necessity, a hands-off approach.  The concept of parent-directed education was completely foreign to the administration and faculty.  (The concept of parent-paid tuition, however, was not; this makes sense from a business perspective -- convince parents that they are completely incapable of their child's education, in order to make the education offered seem valuable.)  Thing 1 decided before Thanksgiving that this would not be a viable option for high school, and I offered to end her enrollment and bring her back home at the end of the semester.  She declined, stating that she did not want to give the administration or her bullying, cruel classmates the satisfaction.  It is a decision I regret allowing her to make, as she is still dealing with the emotional trauma of an environment that was far more damaging than we realized at the time.  

 

We homeschooled for three more years and then she went to Mary Baldwin College as part of their Early College program.  The admissions and faculty at Mary Baldwin are very supportive of homeschooling and encourage application from homeschoolers (they even provide a printable high school transcript form on their website).  Thing 1's non-traditional homeschooling background was celebrated.  Although she was still a high-schooler according to her transcript, we were completely hands-off in her academic studies that year (of necessity, being four hours away).  

 

Thing 2 is currently enrolled in a local charter school, which is also supportive of homeschooling.  It is a very small school, woefully understaffed and underfunded, and parental involvement is not only welcome, it is a vital and thriving part of the school plan. On any given day, there are probably half a dozen parents at the school, tutoring and helping during the mandatory 8th period academic study hall.  I am privileged to tutor a small group of my daughter's 10th grade English classmates one day a week, and in that setting, I have exchanged lesson ideas and links to materials with her teacher.  He does not find it at all strange or threatening that I continue to teach homeschool enrichment classes while my child is enrolled in public school.  Thing 1 would prefer that her father and I be completely and utterly hands-off; however, her grades do not inspire us to trust her with full autonomy at this point.   Her teachers understand this, and support both her desire for independence and my desire to stay actively engaged in her education.  I have more interaction with her teachers, and my ideas and suggestions have been met with more enthusiasm and respect, than I ever could have imagined.  They have found places for me to volunteer and serve the school that do not directly involve my daughter, and everyone is happy.  The concept of parent-directed education seems perfectly natural to the administration and faculty, and even though most teachers hold masters degrees or higher, there is no sense of condescension toward less-educated parents. 

 

I believe there were two key factors in the dramatically different experiences:  the attitude of the school toward the homeschooling family, and the attitude of our homeschooling family toward the school.  In the disastrous experience of the private Christian school, the school's attitude was thinly veiled hostility toward homeschooling and homeschoolers, and our attitude was far too timid and compliant. My level of involvement and input was dictated and controlled completely by the school.  Older and wiser, we knew the next time around not to bother with schools that were not supportive of homeschooling, but we also had a more confident, unapologetic attitude.  In this case, my level of involvement and input is directed by the needs of the school and the preferences of my child.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our local K-8 school is very small. Less than 50 kids total. Everyone knows each other. My first son went to 5th grade at this local school, and my second son went to 7th & 8th grade at the same school. For these two young men, the local high school was a disaster socially. 

 

Homeschooling had/has a bad reputation in my community.  Teachers and others feel homeschooling inferior to public school, and those in the community that homeschooled in the past set a poor example of academic excellence. The school also bemoaned loss of revenue.

 

As much as I requested to be involved or offered help at our K-8 school, my requests were met with polite smiles and a "No thank-you." Curiously, my son's 8th grade teacher though he was the best educated homeschool student she taught. He could write and connect historical events with current events better than her other students. However, this son was not good at the housekeeping of school--handing in work that followed the rubric of expectation for a given project. 

 

Overall, I've found no openness to what a homeschool parent may have to offer a classroom, teacher, or school. Yet, now that my oldest daughter has applied to top ranked colleges and will likely go to one of these colleges, folks in my small community are realizing that homeschooling is not always a negative. In a community where few graduate from high school without going to a continuation/alternative high school and where even fewer go to community college and beyond, a homeschooled child getting into college is an anomaly. It just might change the way people think about homeschooling. 

 

Neither of my daughters have attended public school because of our experiences with the K-8 and high school social issues. 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 13 yo has begun PS this year for 8th grade at his request. He's done very well and the year has mostly been academic review. He did need to learn room changing, locker opening, etc but caught on quickly. We have been extremely hands off. We spent all those homeschool years fostering independence and maturity and it's quite nice to see it pay off. I did tell him I'd help if he had questions but so far he hasn't asked. I think I foresaw lots of problems that just haven't presented themselves. He gets up, packs lunch, does his work, and has found friends. I might worry and be more involved with a different child that had different career goals but this child wants a career as an electrician and not a nuclear scientist.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's what I'm wondering: Were you able to use any resources/techniques/ideas from home schooling to help you customize your child's situation? In what ways did the idea of a parent-directed education make you able to take charge of the classroom setting? Or the reverse--did you decide to take a more hands-off approach?

 

For me, having a child in school meant giving up control and taking a hands-off approach. The school was not interested in my input and tended to view me as an adversary and not as a partner. I found that the schools (my dd was in 3 from 6th-12th) tended to act like they knew the most and had the most care and concern for my child and that my asking questions and trying to be involved was seen as interference.  I was not able to customize my child's situation in any way. The school wanted full control and also constantly badgered me to give them my younger two, as well.

 

By way of example of how the schools believed they knew better than I did about my own child: my dd (adopted internationally as a pre-teen) began high school reading on a 2nd-3rd grade level. My then-seven year old was reading on a higher level than my 9th grader and had been for a while. I knew this. My dd was given the standard 9th grade reading screening and, miraculously, was reading at an 8th-grade level (which is their threshold for beginning 9th grade studies at her school). For over a semester I battled with them about this as I knew she was not reading anywhere near that level and was struggling with her studies. Finally, after a delayed IEP meeting, the school was obligated to give her a more comprehensive reading screen. Guess where she was reading? Third grade, first month. She spent the next 3 semesters in an intensive reading remediation program and did, eventually, raise her reading level. The school fought me the whole way, though, and never acknowledged that I had been right all along.

 

My child stayed in school for reasons that had little to do with academics and lots to do with post-adoption issues.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I fit this mold.  I have one child in a (classical) Catholic school.  He was homeschooled through elementary school and has attended school for sixth and seventh (and next year eighth) grades.  His older and younger brothers are homeschooled but use a study center for homeschoolers two days a week. 

 

I have to say, the Catholic school has been incredible.  They are more than willing to answer my questions, and our first year in there were a million of them.  I'd never had a kid in school before!  My son's academic advisor became a regular point of contact as my son found the distractions and disorganization of being in school quite overwhelming.  He also tested a lot to see what he could get away with when he knew that teachers wouldn't be able to tell mom every little thing.  His advisor made sure I knew when something needed correction.  Each of his teachers was willing to speak with me one on one about his placements for seventh grade classes too, as I weighed whether to send him back to school or bring him home again.  I even loaned the Latin teacher a homeschooling curriculum we were considering using because he wasn't familiar with it and wanted to see it. 

 

I know not every school is that relational and helpful but we have loved it.  In addition one of his teachers (well two, they're a married couple) had homeschooled their children before they moved to this area and began teaching at the school and the headmistress had served as an evaluator for a few homeschool families.  Its very homeschool friendly. 

Still folks do ask why I sent the middle child to school and not the other two.  Mainly because the middle child needed it, socially (he's a serious extrovert) and academically (he was the middle child falling through the cracks and so stubborn that it was a struggle to course correct with him).   I am graduating the eldest this year and the jury is still out on whether or not I will send the second to school for high school or the third at all.  But for now, we really love the Catholic school!

 

I will say that the environment at the study center is very different than the school environment.   While study center is a classroom, the fact that much of the work is done at home requires that I know every assignment that comes along.  There is a good deal more parental control and communication going on.  And we aren't odd ducks there for homeschooling (though some of them wonder why we send the middle one to school) as the environment is made for homeschoolers.  That said, the study center takes over the entire curriculum and I no longer feel like a creative, vibrant homeschooler.  That is why we're not sending the youngest to study center next year, despite a good year there for him this year.  On the up side, lab science and math would have been impossible for me to homeschool, and the study center is a major reason we were able to homeschool the eldest all the way through, so I'm grateful.

 

You asked if we were able to use homeschooling to customize our child's education, and so I really ought to add this little story.  At the end of the year, Nate's (catholic schoolboy) Latin teacher called to say that "his placement could go either way"... he had passed the class but he was afraid Nate wouldn't be ready for the next level up.   I agreed with him and while I really don't care where my child is placed in Latin, my concern was that if Nate were bored he would not learn at all.  So the teacher and I agreed to let Nate choose, and he chose to take the higher placement because he actually loves Latin.  (The teacher is amazing!)  So we (the teacher, my kid and I) made a deal.  We would homeschool Latin over the summer, mostly review to make sure he had a good footing going in, and he would take the more advanced course.  He's still not an A student, but he has made it through the more advanced course quite solidly this year and still loves Latin.  That's a lot better than taking an easier course and being bored! 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the theory that there's a ripple effect, and I think it's something much more prevalent now than when I started homeschooling back in the early 2000s. Over the years I have homeschooled, afterschooled, and something in between.

 

What am seeing develop is that it's become more of a lifestyle change in some families. You start to realize there are more ways to obtain information than you grew up with. Most people I know are kids of the '80s, maybe '90s right now. It was a big shift for some of us to move from the 'teacher imparts knowledge, I take notes/do a worksheet, then take a test' sort of routine to one where you discover knowledge comes from more areas.

 

I know it was eye opening for us over the years, and we will reccomend resources when people are asking around for help instead of just jumping into 'hire a tutor.'

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jjv1024

I have 2 boys, 5th and 3rd grade. I would have loved to homeschool from the beginning, but my husband wasn't on board, so I was an 'after-schooler.' Just this year, we began homeschooling my oldest but my youngest is still in public school - hopefully for not much longer. After-schooling works great in the younger ages, but once school is no longer fun and games and then there's homework to boot, it's difficult to justify taking away what little free time they have for more schooling and so it eventually morphed into homework help and values clarification (aka: You learned WHAT on the bus?!) . We can always enrich our children's education with field trips, activities and such, but academically there just isn't any compatibility between public school and homeschool. You either abdicate your responsibilities to teach your children or you don't.

 

Example: My older son had 'that writing teacher' back in 2nd grade - the one to whom the high school girls who win poetry contests attribute their start in writing. Well, he was traumatized by the experience of being thrown writing prompt after writing prompt with blank sheets of paper. Seriously, he developed anxiety over just holding a pencil! So I thought I would remediate/supplement with WWE. The problem is giving a 1-3 sentence narration of a short passage doesn't translate immediately into the type of writing they expect students to do. It did make that 5 page book report a little bit easier, but even that isn't the typical writing assignment. But really, who has time to suddenly learn HOW to write when they have a paper due tomorrow? After 2 more years of torture, he is now home, and working through WWE level 3 and doing wonderfully. I don't care if he is 2 years behind (for now); he is 3 years ahead of where he was at the beginning of the school year and he is learning HOW to write. He sees a method behind it. This, coupled with learning diagramming (also not taught in public school) in FLL - level 3 is helping him see the black-and-white of the English language which he so desperately needed to make sense of writing.

 

While the writing curriculum doesn't match at all, I have been able to help my younger one on his school papers by allowing him to narrate while I record, then edit and copy what I wrote. Just breaking down the steps helps tremendously and I also owe that wisdom to you.

 

One thing I never gave up in my 'after-schooling' attempt was reading to my children. I NEVER read Goodnight Moon to them or the early readers the teachers sent home. I always read ahead of their reading level. They read books at their level on their own time, but my reading time is for growth in language. My younger son could barely read when I read Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days with a world map spread out on our coffee table, but he was so filled with anticipation he snuck the book up to his room to read the ending. His reading assessments at school jumped 3 levels that month. When my public school parent friends ask me for advice, that is the one thing I tell them: read ahead!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only afterschool, my kids are in public school all the way.  I like public school.  I like the other kids, I like the same-aged peers, I like the time the influence from peers and teachers.  

 

But, I have afterschooled my oldest son very intensively as he was a struggling reader, and his needs were very far from being met at school.  I have gotten a great amount of advice and inspiration from participating on the special needs forum here.  I don't think my son would be where he is now (a 4th grader who is not a heavy reader, but who considers himself a good reader, and gets interested in books and wants to read them, who has two series coming in the next Scholastic book order, and is eager to get going with them) if I had not worked with him as I have.  

 

I also spent about 3-4 months trying things that did not work to help him to learn to read, before hearing about this thing called dyslexia and Barton and OG reading instruction.  It was a scary and depressing time in my life, seeing my son failing and trying and failing to help him, and knowing that (unfortunately) it is okay/acceptable in our society for some kids to struggle with reading and for public schools to not have the resources to help them.  I only find out about ways to help my son on the Internet.  I got some clues from a few library books, but without the Internet, I would have never been able to figure out how to implement anything.  The books assumed tutoring options that do not exist where I live.    

 

I am a child of two former public school teachers, so I came from a background of doing learning projects and things at home.  I have never felt like I can't or shouldn't work with my kids.

 

What is different for me is that I can find out ways to work with them when they need help.  I am not stuck with just following along with what the teacher sends home and trying to help with homework.  When that works, I am happy to do that.  

 

But, if it is not working, I can go on the Internet and find out what homeschoolers are doing and I can do research and find something that can work for my kids.  

 

But if I don't see a need, I am happier just to read some to my kids and hang out with them.  I am not someone who enjoys educational discussions, and I don't have a lot of educational interests.  I don't really like to teach my kids.  I do not have really high educational hopes for them.  I just want them to be able to go to college and be on a college track.  I want them to be able to take real freshman level classes, and not have to take remedial college classes.  

 

I do not have an expectation that by sending them to public school, they will be able to meet this goal.  I feel I must step in and keep track, to be sure this goal is reached.  

 

But that is the limit of my aspirations.  I just do not have more, and I don't want to homeschool my kids.  

 

But I have to say that I benefit so much from the fact that there is a homeschool movement, and that this creates a market for homeschool materials, and I have benefited so much from this, b/c it means there are really good materials for me to use when I know that something is not working and I need to do what I can to help.  I can also get advice from homeschool parents that went a long way in pointing me in the right direction when I was starting out with my son, and it meant a lot to me to hear about other kids who were struggling readers but learned to read with special reading programs.  

 

Edit:  Another benefit to me, of the existence of the homeschool movement:  my public library gets more and more non-fiction children's books that seem to go along with the classical model, because there is a demand for books like this, for these books to be published, and for my library to carry them.  Maybe they have always been out there, and I just did not know about them, but I am so impressed and pleased with all the cool non-fiction books aimed at younger kids, that I see so much now.  Our library has all kinds of books about ancient Egypt and ancient Rome, and they all seem to be new, and so educational without being dry and boring.  I really appreciate it.  I think it just broadens the reading materials I have for my kids, and I think that just from displays they put up in the library, it feels like -- oh, it is a thing, to read young kids books about ancient Egypt and ancient Rome.  I think this spreads from homeschoolers in my town, because they are into this kind of thing.  I do think that trickles down to me and my kids.  I am not sure there would be a section for the "you wouldn't want to be a...." books if there was not a demand for them, that I think comes from homeschoolers, but I see those kinds of books, too, and look at them and think about checking them out.  I always see homeschoolers with big stacks of non-fiction history books, and I am sure they are talking to the librarians about ordering books that they can use.  Then the books are there for us, too!  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think my story is particularly helpful but I'll post it here anyway. My husband was always interested in homeschooling but when my children were young we enrolled them in a private school. The school had small class sizes, strict rules and loving attentive teachers. The school didn't believe in much homework at the young grades, believing that time in school should be used wisely and time at home should be devoted to play and family time. I loved this about the school. As a result, I wasn't very involved in their education in the early years.

 

This is my fifth year homeschooling my 12 year old, and my 13 year old is in a public school classroom for the first time. For the most part, it's going well, but I'm very hands off. One of the main reasons she is in school right now is that we clash badly over school and I fear homeschooling for as long as we did may have been damaging to our relationship. She needs to be in an environment where I am not the teacher and for now, that means not helping with homework.

 

I have never afterschooled. When they were in private school, their education was rigorous and I felt I had nothing to add, and now, any time spent with my daughter needs to be quality mother daughter time.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Izzy tried 3 public schools in three years. For kindergarten I just needed a break and only read to her at home.  Then we moved and she wanted to keep going to school.  First grade I was pretty hands off, just reading to her lots still.  She was miserable and bullied.  For second grade I got her into a magnet school thinking it would solve the problems.  It too was a disaster.  She now had homework and was still bullied.  I withdrew her a few weeks ago and the entire family is happier.  When she was in school I hated asking her to do more school at home. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When my twins entered Kindergarten they were both great readers and one was doing multiplication. I started reading these boards for ideas to supplement since their teacher had no interest in accelerating (she would not even let them bring home more advanced readers until they had worked their way through the K readers - we just read our own books). Halfway through first grade the (same) teacher allowed my son to do Aleks online- a math program that allowed him to advance at his own pace. I began doing Story of the World and associated projects at home for fun. In second grade I approached the principal and asked if I could take over my son's math as he was now approaching pre-algebra. She agreed, so I came in twice a week to teach him and he did Singapore Math instead of their math. Then we moved to a fringe rural part of Virginia and I knew I would have less ability to affect my childrens' education (so much more beaucracy than our little school in San Diego!) so I decided to start homeschooling and it has been fabulous.

 

Afterschooling was wonderful since it gave me practice before I jumped headfirst into homeschooling. And the thing I found most interesting was the amount of parents (in our very competitive over achieving area of San Diego) who came to me for advice on curricula. it was creating a mind shift in others to from handing over complete control of their children's education to realizing that there are so many other, sometimes better was to teach their kids that will be more meaningful or interesting to them. All thanks to the Internet:-)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have homeschooled through middle school (8th) & then put my kids in the public high school. (Dd is there now as an 11th grader, ds is currently finishing his 8th grade homeschooling year & will enter public high school at the end of summer. Dd has excelled & has been in honors & AP classes with plans to do dual-enrollment next year. Ds will be entering into the school's academic excellence program, which is basically the school's version of a magnet program.)

 

One ripple effect I think we have is that dd actually tells me about her day. ;)  Perhaps it is all those years of being closely bonded as a family, maybe it's because she realizes I'm interested in school/books/learning, or maybe I'm just lucky. I definitely appreciate the open communication.

 

I've tried to be pretty hands-off as far as actual assignments or how they are completed, but dd has sometimes asked for help or needed some extra direction when tackling an assignment & I've felt able to help her there (& she's felt good enough to ask for help). She also knows we have various resources here on our shelves, if needed, or can research & find some. I think having the knowledge of various curriculum options gives a lot of freedom (rather than feeling tied to just the textbook they are using in class, etc...). As has already been mentioned, I also tend to have the mindset that her teachers, counselor, & I are a team, with all of us looking with an eye toward her education & I count all of us as her 'educators'. I think it helps that I have a feel for curriculum, lesson plans, rubrics, etc..., so I feel I can approach things intelligently with them, if needed. (And in that respect, I've been really pleased in the interactions I've had with them & the weight they've given my input too.) Basically, I think it has helped me feel more informed & in control as a parent because of my own time researching & teaching at home.

 

I guess a lot of that is to say that I think homeschooling has helped open my eyes through the years to the point that I have a big picture of the educational process rather than it being some mysterious 'thing' my kid is immersed in during they day. The knowledge helps me ask better questions & be a better advocate.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My oldest dd did her 6th grade year through an online charter school.  The teachers seemed overwhelmed with too many students, the work was mainly busywork that took up to 5 hours a day of clicking on screens.  The times when they would "meet" with their teachers once a week for each subject through online chat were OK.  I felt like my daughter lost a lot of progress that year and we didn't have time to do anything outside of the work she did online because it was so exhausting.  She tested lower on subjects at the end of the year than at the beginning.  And her main teacher wouldn't listen to me about our concerns.  It was very disappointing.  She's done a lot better with homeschooling and co-ops.   Our co-op has really boosted my dd's confidence in testing and writing whereas the online school made it worse. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I after school. My kids attend a state primary in NZ. We have good schools for the most part if your child is within one or two standard deviations from the mean or have no LDs. Mine aren't. I after school to remind ds7 that maths is fun and challenging. Also NZ doesn't really do history so I do that and ds7 has a relative weakness in writing. Ds5 is more even and enjoying school. I have to work so homeschool is not an option and at the moment it would probably not the best option but it may be later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's what I'm wondering: Were you able to use any resources/techniques/ideas from home schooling to help you customize your child's situation? In what ways did the idea of a parent-directed education make you able to take charge of the classroom setting? Or the reverse--did you decide to take a more hands-off approach?

 

Background: Except for the first three months of kindergarten, our son has been homeschooled until this year, his eighth grade.  We’re ¾ of the way through 8th grade as I write.  His older brother went through public school from K-12 (as well as college).

 

Answer: In kindergarten, we weren’t really able to use resources/techniques/ideas from homeschooling to help customize our child’s situation.  Upon starting kindergarten, the school had no interest in customization of any sort.  At our first meeting with the school, they assured us that they would teach to a level appropriate for his development.  After a couple of months, that was manifestly not happening, and we requested another meeting.  At our second conversation with the school about this, they pretty bluntly said that their focus was on the percent of kids that would pass the end of third grade test.  They said that clearly “he’s not going to have trouble with that, but he could help other kids learn†material.  He’d been reading chapter books for a year and nine months before walking in the kindergarten door, and they were teaching the entire class the “sounds of lettersâ€;  the story with math was similar.  In that situation, we really couldn’t use anything outside of school – as it was, DS felt he was so different and didn’t want to be different, so learning anything new would just make the situation worse.  His story is one illustration of why a “growth focus†on measuring student progress is so important rather than using solely or primarily a grade-level competency test; the principal had no incentive to teach our child (nor children who had no chance of passing of passing the end of grade test), and I don’t think the teacher alone could do it.

 

When we entered the homeschool community more robustly after leaving kindergarten, we found many more students at levels beyond what we experienced in the public schools, even in a university community.  There were peers.  It was great.  As the years went on, however, DS made more connections with kids going to school, some friends moved, and at the end of seventh grade, DS became interested in trying school. 

 

As DS entered public school in eighth grade, there wasn’t any clear way to use resources/techniques/ideas from home schooling to help us customize our child's situation.   We weren’t sure if public school for DS would last two weeks or until college, so we didn’t start out pushing to customize from day one nor was there any clear way to do so.  Also, since DS had a good amount of homework, the amount of time he was spending on schooling doubled overnight, combined with joining a competitive soccer team, meant there wasn’t really time for anything additional.  After a few months, however, I noticed that there didn’t seem to be much review of concepts in math and insisted on a little bit of KhanAcademy.org for review.  By and large, this particular year has been a pretty good experience, but the answer to your question is, primarily, no.

 

I hope that this was of some interest.  We are very appreciative of your many books and this wonderful board!!  PM me if you have any questions.  Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My younger daughter was placed in a 2nd grade classroom full time when we moved.  Her teacher, a retired Lt. Commander from the Navy, and a USNA graduate, had also home schooled most of her children at one time or another.  I felt she knew where we were coming from, and definitely felt a sense of partnership.  My daughter did very well in the classroom, and I took a mostly hands-off approach, except for homework.  My time homeschooling made me one of the few parents in the school who understood the way math was being taught (I saw my fair share of eyebrow-raising problems, but I knew how to approach them).  As a result, there were no issues of my not being able to help my child.  My daughter was already a fairly confident reader, and although I believe the "reading only at grade level" policies are stupid and short-sighted, my daughter was still able to read whatever she wanted at home.  It was fine for a time, but the rest of my children won't attend school for anything beyond enrichment or therapy in elementary and middle school, if I can help it!

 

My oldest son (in high school), will be taking two dual enrollment classes next year, plus two elective courses at the high school, with his core work at home.  My role will once again be mostly hands-off, but I will be helping him manage his time, and helping him remain accountable.  

 

For us, homeschooling has really become the only option -- mainly because of the myriad of hoops that get put in our way, not so much at the elementary level, but at the middle school and high school levels.  Too often we are told "no," because this course is usually taken by older students, or there are additional required tests that they want my children to take to prove they can handle the course (please don't take that to mean I'm against appropriate placement testing...but in our case, they wanted my oldest son to take final exams for *every* high school level math class he had taken prior to 9th grade vs. taking one placement test (he could have taken the placement test for dual enrollment), nor would they allow him in honors courses (despite our having records from Johns Hopkins, and ample standardized testing data, including the ACT which show his ability to handle more difficult work). I feel there are enough hoops we have to jump through to prepare for college (SAT subject tests, PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP/CLEP...etc.), that I don't need to add extra things to my children's plates.  So, we take classes that don't have these types of requirements (electives...some things that I don't have to plan!), and just do the remainder at home with the resources we have available.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's what I'm wondering: Were you able to use any resources/techniques/ideas from home schooling to help you customize your child's situation?

I repeatedly tell my kids NOT to worry about grades/tests and just try their hardest. Homeschooling and educating myself in educational theory and how children learn empowered me to buck the trend of encouraging good grades just a little more. Of course I want them to do well, but I want it to be about the content and experience, not the test and grade.

 

I should add that both kids are neurotypical with no learning disabilities so I can be somewhat relaxed on much of this. Even if they don't understand something now, I'm confident they will eventually. As it stands right now, report cards are good, grades are high, and parent teacher interviews reveal my kids to be "more mature behaviorally than their same-age peers".

 

In what ways did the idea of a parent-directed education make you able to take charge of the classroom setting? Or the reverse--did you decide to take a more hands-off approach?

The reason they are in school is due to my husband's deployment. I needed a break, so I am mostly hands-off unless they want or need help.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I didn't see this post until now because I've been hanging out mostly on the Learning Challenges & Special Needs boards lately with everything going on with my little one (the audiologist discovered profound hearing loss at the beginning of February).

 

I have HSed my oldest two kids from pre-k on, but my youngest child started attending Early Intervention preschool in spring 2011 at age 2 years 3 months. She has been in a classroom for 20-25 hours/week ever since. It was hard for me to put her in school but she's always been in small classes with a high teacher:student ratio. In preschool, it was 1:2 and for kindergarten it's 1:3. She also gets services through the schools that would be very expensive to pay for privately like speech & occupational therapy, social skills training, etc. She has made a lot of progress at school and having her there allows me to HS my older kids (if she were HS, she'd demand so much of my attention that I would have to put my older 2 into B&M schools).

 

Getting back to the original question, I suspect the schools have a love/hate relationship with me.

 

They love that I care deeply about DD's education (sadly, some of the parents of her classmates are either unable or unwilling to be involved). They appreciate that I work with her at home to help her reach the goals on her Individual Education Plan. They know that when they make a referral for some kind of outside testing (like getting the audiology exam through our health insurance) that I will follow through with that rather than go into denial mode.

 

The flip side is that I'm the squeaky wheel. I do try to work with the district as a partner rather than an adversary but I'm not going to be some passive little doormat deferring to their authority. I don't sign anything without thoroughly reading it and I'm not afraid to mark up the IEP document to say I agree with A, B, and C but I disagree with D and E.

 

Would I have been this way without the background as a HSer? Probably to a certain extent. I was the squeaky wheel with my oldest's pediatrician long before I ever considered HSing. But I do think that HSing has made me even more emboldened to advocate for an individually tailored education and not just accept the "cookie cutter" standard IEP.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Currently, all three of our kids are in public education full-time. 

 

My husband and I were home schooled and naturally thought we would continue moving in this direction with our own children. Before the kids were born I had used your complete curriculum to home school a large family whose parents were unable to because of family circumstances. I was hired as a sort of nanny but did all the educating and ordered the curriculum and everything. I discovered your curriculum and was very partial to it as a hands-on type of education since my own was a fill in the blanks type that taught me information but didn't require much reflection or inquiry on my part. 

 

When I had my own kids I began with your curriculum and all was going well. Then our family decided to up and move to Paris so the kids and ourselves could learn French. In order to get the full advantage of our time here, the kids are enrolled in the public school full time and I've gotten a post as a teacher. At first I tried doing all the subjects in English as an after-schooler, but it was very tiring for the kids. Slowly, I started dropping subjects, and letting go of the program I love.

 

In a way I was bound to it, and it was refreshing to relax a bit too. SOTW has become a bedtime story. We talk about the chapter we read each night, but no longer follow the scripted questions. Having done it so many times with the Activity Guide though, I understand how to make the most of the questions we discuss and guide them to remember and reflect on the main events of the chapter. Still I was disappointed that they were not doing the map work and learning to give a full summary for their writing skills, but just yesterday ds(9) said he is starting a blog summarizing each chapter of SOTW and combining it with media and maps from online and the corresponding chapter from the Kingfisher Encyclopedia. I was so happy that he is doing this and that it is his own idea! Math has totally disappeared. They are top of their classes due to a good foundation and I encourage them to come to me as soon as they are not 100% sure of how to manipulate the numbers so that I can give them a visual explanation, but that is all and rarely happens. I've dropped the Latin in favor of the French. Science we continue to do but in a lighter way. I still follow the general idea. I have all the suggested books. The kids do the experiments and just add a labeled picture and explanation to an ongoing poster on the wall. The only thing I've kept up is the language arts. The rest has blended into our activities and is not recognized as "school".

 

I am taking a hands-off approach to their "actual" schooling. I think because I have a  broad view of why tests are given and why exercises are asked of the students, these things are not stressful. When I get their exams back to sign I ask the kids if they now understand the things that were marked wrong and am able to explain them if not. Many of my friends are extremely stressed about grades, but I know that I could pop them out of the educational system and home school them if the situation warranted so that's not the case for me.They are doing well. I think the first few years following the Well Trained Mind has given each of the boys a strong foundation. They know how to learn and I appreciate that. 

 

A ripple effect of learning your educational approach has been that I conduct my class differently than many teachers. I incorporate a lot of your curriculum ideas into my classroom, and the results are very positive. I suggest your book to parents I know who are wanting to get more involved with their kids education. I feel the Well Trained Mind does a very complete and thorough job of summarizing what should be covered in an education and how to go about it. I have also suggested SOTW to many people for their own personal use. When we were in the States I know that three different libraries bought a copy per my suggestion. Another ripple effect is that all my kids love history due to your engaging narrative. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is our first year having a child in the school system.  My older two were fully homeschooled at home until high school where I had to begin outsourcing.  We mixed together stuff at home with online classes, clubs led by others with experience in the subject matter, and classes at the local liberal arts college.  My youngest was outgrowing her homeschooled friends from an academic perspective, which meant we would not be doing subjects together with them.  She put her foot down on too much online school as she wants much more social contact and learns best with people, not in isolation.  So, she has been attending the public high school part-time.  I am completely hands-off as far as her art class is concerned since I don't have anything to offer. However, we worked at setting her up for success with her Chemistry class.  Math is her weakness, but I didn't want it to hold her back in the sciences so we spend the summer working through the Teaching Company's Chemistry course.  We found out too late that she really needed to be in Honors Chemistry (but they were hesitant due to her math difficulties) so I have been working on fleshing out the topics that we feel are covered a bit shallowly.  My older kids have been a resource for her as they are both STEM majors in college.  I have found things on Khan academy, other Chemistry texts that we have laying around the house and Skype with her siblings.  Next year will be a new challenge as she will be taking 4 classes instead of 2.  My plan is to go through the syllabus they have (when offered) and compare them to the syllibi of classes I have done with my older kids.  I have to say the biggest advantage that homeschooling has done for us in dealing with the school system is that I am still looking for what is best for my child and not just accept what the school says is best.  I have advocated for her to be seen as more than her test scores.  For example, I worked with them to put her on the honors science track despite her less than stellar math scores because she simply wasn't challenged in her regular science class. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Overall, homeschooling gave me more interest and knowledge of the curriculum used in a public school setting, and the firm knowledge of the importance of high moral character for public school teachers and administrators.

 

We had a combination of public and homeschooling with my oldest two the first couple of years. Homeschooling gave me some knowledge about educational philosophy that I previously lacked, and a better grasp on phonics, since I my own reading education was whole language.

 

Later, after many years of homeschooling, my son did most of his eighth grade year at a brand new charter school (5 days a week) that was supposed to be a combination of Classical and Thomas Jefferson Education. The main push of this school was imitation of the Founding Fathers, patriotism, and developing leaders. The main reasons we let him go was because I wanted a solid math program for high school for him. Also, all the boys from our homeschool group were going and since he is our only boy he wouldn't have had any male interaction at home.

 

My son was able to participate in student government, which he greatly enjoyed, but at one meeting the student gov't members were told that they were to keep a high school dance a secret from the junior high kids. This felt too much like lying to my son. He was disappointed in the hypocrisy of the school administration. I learned a practical lesson in the difference in what is promoted by an institution is not any guarantee in what is actually taught.

 

And, unfortunately, the math program was a disaster. There was no textbook and little homework. This was my son's Algebra 1 year, and I had really hoped for something solid. After some effort, the school offered a textbook to appease parents, but they only provided it on a kindle and the font was so small it was barely readable.

 

We pulled out near the end of the year. My son had really lost heart after the whole 'secrecy' thing. Also, just the amount of time it took to be in a program like that was overwhelming because the parents had to volunteer hours if they couldn't donate enough money. I also was donating time to another daughter's homeschool co-op, and it was a crazy year. My son loved the science teacher, and was sad to lose him, but he was the only outstanding teacher my son had at this school.

 

So, I was grateful that I was able to discuss and advise on math curriculum. I had also gained enough knowledge from homeschooling to know that the reality of what was taught at this school wasn't anything like a classical education.

 

From reports I've heard this school has dramatically improved and undergone a change in leadership.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We recently put or two (ages 9 and 10) part time in a classroom. They currently go to a private school for math. Next year, we are switching them to a different private school for math and another subject (either language arts or social studies). 

 

I would say that my experiences as a homeschooler are what make me more likely to personalize my children's education. I felt that they needed more accountability and also to see how an actual school setting works. We were having lots of issues with "my life is so hard" and things of a similar nature. Honestly, it has been a GREAT experience for us. We still get (most) of the flexibility of homeschooling, but they're also learning through school. They've witnessed behavior issues with kids (an eye opener), had report cards, timed tests, quizzes...homework. They have to be up and out on time, which has been great for accountability. 

 

I feel that I don't have to educate my kids in a certain way...it doesn't have to be all homeschool or all public school. We CAN tailor their education to their needs. But, as I'm always telling people, the freedom of pursuing your own educational path does come with a price. For us, that price is in dollar signs. But, we're happy to make the sacrifice.

 

I just heard last night from another public school (charter school) mom that she wants to part time her kids, but can't find any options...though she did say there is a public elementary in town that does school MWF and T TR the kids learn at home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi Susan,

 

I have a 6 year old in a private bilingual school - half of the time is spent in an English classroom and half in a Chinese classroom. My DD has been in a full time classroom setting since she was 3.5. We after school in math, reading/writing, and logic, usually 40 minutes 4-5 times a week.

 

I haven't chosen to homeschool because I send my child to school for many benefits besides academic education. If I wanted DD to only have an academic experience, it would be far more efficient and less expensive to teach her myself. The school integrates arts, music, a language that I can't speak, and specialized physical education and provides it in a group, inquiry based learning style that I can't replicate at home. In particular, I think it is crucially important for math to be experienced in groups so that children can see that math is a subject of relationships and that many approaches can be correct.

 

I afterschool because 1) I do feel that I can provide better and more individualized instruction in certain areas, 2) I see an opportunity to go deeper into subject matter, particularly math and science, 3) having my child sit down and focus for 30-40 min provides discipline and a good work ethic, 4) I enjoy watching my child learn and discovering her learning style and her strengths and weaknesses. My goals for her kindergarten year were to cement her love of books by reading aloud like a madwoman, develop her listening and comprehension skills both from my read alouds and her own reading, develop a strong number sense and instinct that numbers are flexible and meant to be composed and decomposed, practice the art of good penmanship, and above all, look for patterns in everything.

 

Were you able to use any resources/techniques/ideas from home schooling to help you customize your child's situation?

- Yes, emphatically, yes! The home schooling community has been a huge help to me in deciding what topics to teach, how to teach, and where to find resources. For example, DD is using MIF at school and we supplement with miquon and Singapore IP/CWP at home because i love the way they complement each other. I wouldn't have known about miquon without the forum. I try not to replicate anything that is done at school, but instead to supplement and enrich that experience. For example, at school, DD has number talks where the children as a group find all the ways to make 12. At home, we play muggins or discover how many ways you can make 24 using groups of 3 or 4.

The forum has really been invaluable in getting ideas and it has been easy to fit the ideas to an after schooling curriculum.

 

In what ways did the idea of a parent-directed education make you able to take charge of the classroom setting?

- it is inspiring to read about parents who are taking charge of all aspects of education. I am fairly certain that I would have pursued after schooling without knowing about homeschooling because I was afterschooled as a child myself. I first heard the phrase on this forum after I had been doing it for about a year- it was nice to put a name to it! Although I would have done it anyway, having the resources from the homeschooling community have greatly improved my efficiency and passion, as well as the quality of the content. I have learned new ways to present ideas and have been inspired to do more. For example, the idea of living books for math and science were not on my radar and now are incorporated. We were doing copy work before, but now it is more disciplined and regular.

 

Homeschooling is really wonderful but not the right fit for our family. After schooling, however, strikes the perfect balance for us in taking advantage of existing constructs and personalizing them to our taste.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think found WTM at Borders before my kids were even born, and immediately loved it. I remember responding to the story about how your mom had tutored a couple of non-reading teenagers and had vowed that her children would never experience that. My brothers were both severely dyslexic and watching my also-dyslexic mother grapple with the public-school system on their behalf left me with a fierce conviction that "school" cannot be trusted with education. My own public education was fine, but I always operated under my own steam. I was doing it because I loved to learn, not because I loved the system. Long story short, I have come to believe that education and school are a Venn diagram: they share points, but they are not coterminous. There is a balance that must be struck between mastery and performance, but any given school system is not going to set the fulcrum, you are.

 

I started buying books recommended in WTM when my oldest was a baby--stuff that my kids wouldn't use for years, but titles that I wanted to have in our house as part of an "enriched environment." With WTM in hand, building our home library for the future felt like putting cash in a interest-bearing bank account. (One set of titles that I know I found through WTM was Oxford Myths and Legends series. I got all the old editions with Kiddell-Monroe illustrated covers.)

 

We read and read-aloud rich books on the daily, and I have become unpleasantly smug in my certainty that sheer proximity to our 4,000+ volume home library of living books is a better language arts education than anything that is happening in any school building anywhere for miles around. Where he stands now, DS1 would be wasting his time with any public-school reading curriculum until at least fourth grade. Rather than sit stupefied in a gloomy classroom or develop bad habits, I would prefer that he use that time in those years to chase pigeons or dig holes in the front lawn or do anything else that inspires him.

 

Anyway, all that said, my oldest is happy in his Montessori school right now, and his little brother will start there in a year. After DS1's kindergarten year with the same teacher, we'll reassess and decide if we want to go on to the elementary classroom there or try something else, such as homeschooling. Overall, exposure to the homeschool movement taught me that I can be the general contractor in charge of my child's education. I foresee myself contracting out most STEM subjects, while keeping in-house most of the language arts, humanities and nature study/life science.

 

If it helps, here are some of the educational, resources I've used/enjoyed that I found through submersion in this world: Leap Frog Letter Factory, Magic School Bus videos, Signing Time everything, BOB books, the entire living books/read-aloud axis (Read-Aloud Handbook, Read-Aloud Revival, Living Books Library, Charlotte Mason ideology, all the Sonlight/Oakmeadow/FIAR leveled reading lists), C-rods & Miquon, Khan Academy/IXL, the whole idea of "living math," the whole idea of using math manipulatives in the home, the concept of "nature study" as a subject and not just something your grandpa did for fun. Homeschooling taught me that curriculum is not the particular province of education-school graduates, and that anyone can procure and use almost any of it.

 

Some other thinkers that have contributed to my perspective: Marva Collins, Dorothy Butler (reading and children's book expert out of New Zealand), Penelope Trunk, HomeschoolDad.com, Larry Sanger on baby reading and homeschool, Wayne Root, David Brooks on global competition and the error of suburban provincialism (who cares if your school district is marginally better than that one across the street: your kids are really competing with Singapore and Sweden), the Colfaxes and many other past-and-present frontier learners, Joan Beck and Siegfried Engelmann and Barbara Hainstock and Tim Seldin on excellent early childhood education at home (once you start you can't stop!), this journal article on patron behavior patterns in two different branches of a Philadelphia library system, et al.

 

I think my grandparents (public school teachers 1930s-1960s) "afterschooled" my dad and his older brother before it was cool, and my parents did the same for us. My mom was not academic, but by golly we were in every enrichment class they could find and took constant family outings to local educational or quasi-educational attractions. The existence of the homeschooling/afterschooling movement reinforces the validity of their choices and gives me an added level of confidence in both my right to and my ability to fully and correctly educate my own children. 

 

It sounds crazy, but the option to homeschool makes me feel bulletproof. I don't need to grovel or beg or argue with some school-district apparatchik to make sure my child is being served by their particular system. I can afford to think bigger than that, and do better by my children. Maybe much better.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

My son is about to turn 6. He just finished Kindergarten through public school, and my main problem with it was the way I constantly felt questioned about my choices...even if they had nothing to do with his schooling. They would call me over every little thing, and try to undermine my authority when it came to absences and choosing to send him home even though he didn't have pink eye like the school nurse "thought" he did, even when I told her I spoke with his doctor. Being relatively poor, it angered me that I had to waste gas to take him to the doctor for something that didn't exist just so they could have a note that he was seen.

 

Not to mention, due to life circumstances, my son went into K knowing many things, but not how to read beyond the alphabet. However, he could do many things and honestly impressed the teacher with his intelligence. He was "go to" tech guy for Nook and even computers at school when the other kids didn't know what to do, something the teachers joked about...even more so when I told them while he had much experience with a Nook, he had rarely been on a computer. He was counting to 100 early in the 2nd term of school, when they didn't even begin to work on that until near the end of the year.

 

All that to say, he blew them away, and after a few assessments I did on my own, my son is at 3rd grade math and 3rd grade reading level, while still being socially immature (or you know, their "thought" on his maturity, at least), so I know public school education will start to fail him here (since they wouldn't promote him beyond 1st grade because he's "not ready" socially)...as it did me. I was bored because I was always ahead in school, and I don't want that to happen to my son.

 

I was planning to homeschool him for months now, but I hadn't found a way to go yet. All the programs were so expensive, beyond my financial capabilities, and "financial assistance" is scarce or totally non-existent...and even when I was approved, 40% off of $1,400 is just too much.

 

I found the WTM book when I was researching the Charlotte Mason approach. I found the book in the library, started reading...and honestly, knew THIS is the way I want to teach my child.

 

I've already begun collecting materials, I've paid for some but have to limit my choices due to finances. However, we will utilize the library as much as possible, along with free books and such along the way. I'm varying a little though because my son is brilliant with technology and loves it (as do I!!) and he does have many learning apps (such as DragonBox, which is teaching him algebra basics and he doesn't even know it!), and we're learning ASL and French together already using various avenues.

 

One of the major upsides of this for me is not having to drive him to school, not having to worry, and being able to do my work (I'm an author) easier, plus getting to learn beside him...just by sheer reading alone, I've discovered how much the public school system failed me...and I can't wait to make sure that never happens to my son!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Forum folks,

 

I'm really interested in hearing any stories from those of you who have had, or now have, your students part- or full-time in a classroom situation. (In this case, I'm not counting co-ops as a "classroom situation," but a nontraditional school that meets three times a week would certainly qualify.)

 

Our 12 yo ds was homeschooled from the beginning and asked to go to building school for the 7th grade. He was there from September to March, then decided to return to homeschooling again. So our experiences were short-lived, but may provide some useful information for you.

 

Were you able to use any resources/techniques/ideas from home schooling to help you customize your child's situation?

 

I tried to customize my ds's math, as he was 2 years ahead of the material being covered. It didn't work out very well at all. He was too tired or had too much homework in other classes to do a full math program after school. His math teacher did allow him to work on other math material during class time. In theory, this seemed like a good idea, but in practice it was very difficult to follow-through with consistant lessons and work. The teacher was too busy with the other students to help out my son, and my son was too tired to have a full math lesson in the evenings at home. He was also self-conscious about being the only one in class doing something different.

 

In what ways did the idea of a parent-directed education make you able to take charge of the classroom setting? Or the reverse--did you decide to take a more hands-off approach?

 

For most of ds's classes the teachers were pushing for parental hands-off. Even if they didn't openly state this, that's how it was. All graded assignments had to be done during classtime. Students were actively encouraged to go to educational websites and to ask other classmates about homeschool and assignments inside and outside the classroom. Parents were asked to initial tests and graded assignments of their children, but were not encouraged to help with their child's learning. 

 

I have a theory that the home schooling movement is having a "ripple" effect that stretches far beyond the realm of traditional home educators, and since I know that this board also serves many families who are in school settings, I'd like to hear from you.

 

Just recently I've had discussions with several parents with children in public schools who are looking into ways of taking more control of their children's education. They are very concerned about the gaps in their children's education (math specifically), and the lack of flexibility in the school schedule when their children are involved in high-level music competitions and educational opportunities. Some have considered homeschooling their child full-time, some want to prepare their child during the summer for future math programs in school. 

 

You can post your stories here, or (if you'd rather be more private), you can email your thoughts to [email protected]<script cf-hash='f9e31' type="text/javascript"> /* */</script> 

 

Thanks for any help,

 

SWB

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our children were in a multi-age public school class K-2, and then we homeschooled after that.  We homeschooled full-time until high school, and then part-time through high school (although there were some years with some children that we homeschooled full-time in high school here and there).  Still, all of our children would consider themselves at least part-time homeschooled while in high school.

 

We have had a great experience with our public high school.  It truly views the education of the child as their goal -- no matter how it's done.  They cooperate very well with homeschoolers.  They are happy to accommodate homeschoolers anytime during the day, in any way.  Our children often took science, foreign language, and more there, while nearly always being involved with extra curricular activities there. 

 

Through homeschooling, our children learned how to work well independently and think of creative solutions.  This carried over to public school.  A couple examples of this:  Once, our son really wanted to take the AP Music Theory test, and asked the music teacher if he'd be willing to help him prepare for that.  This is a class not offered at our small, rural high school.  Eventually, ds and teacher set up a schedule to meet for an hour once/week.  Over time, the teacher enjoyed it so much (realizing music theory was a particular passion of his own), that it morphed into an hour three times/week, and then nearly daily.  It was a great experience, and the next semester, this teacher offered it as a regular class, even though he never had more than three students.  (I believe it is still being offered today.)

 

Another time was when our daughter wanted to learn French, which is not offered at our PS.  This was during a year when she was taking several classes at the high school.  We found a French class online which she wanted to take, and though the PS hadn't done this before, they agreed to help her work it out so that she could do it while at school during the day.  They allowed it into her schedule there, and arranged for her to have a private room in their library so she could do her online French class every day.  I believe they continue to allow this for courses that they themselves are not able to offer.  (Given it is a small school.)

 

I think we had the best of both worlds during their high school years.  We are really fortunate to have had such a great public school principal and board to work with!

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only time I was able to affect change in son's classroom was in 4th and 5th grades.  He had the same teacher two years in a row.  I wanted DS to use 1/2" grid paper for math so supplied the entire classroom with grid paper to make it fair.  Son's spelling tests were reduced in size from 25 down to 20 words.  The entire grade had their spelling numbers reduced.  I also made a habit to supply the teachers with dry erase markers.  Private schools are not accountable to Wright's Law.  For whatever reason, son's private opted to not provide IEPs.  DH and I provided printer/copiers for all son's classes so that he could type and print his work for 5th and 6th grades.  All that stopped once DS was removed.

 

ETA:  One the tutors on staff came to my home, and I loaned her all my math remediation materials so that she would be better able to help students that were behind in math.  That was 4 years ago, and we still talk about tutoring and scaffolding since we attend church together.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

My oldest did an intensive this summer which the PS system counted for half a credit. It was 3 weeks and they crammed a half year of work into it. It was for private pilot ground school. My husband and I were very hands on. We checked up continually on her reading and retention as well as checking on her test scores. One test she got a C and that was unacceptable. Thankfully , they had a test re-take policy. She retook the test and got an A. We made expectation adjustments along the way and she ended up getting the 3rd highest score in the class. I was quite satisfied with that because it was a rocky road. It was a lot for all of us to adjust to, but we adjusted and maneuvered and all in all it was an excellent experience. Come fall she will take Math, Science, and English at the Highschool. She will do History and piloting with her private teachers.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Some experiences from a variety of sources.

1. My son (after being homeschooled from K-9) went half days to public school last year.   (I needed to make sure he could perform for other teachers better than he could perform for me before he went to Running Start this year.)  I was able to hand-select the courses he took (not the typical 10th grade classes) because I didn't care about meeting the graduation requirements.  The counselor at the school was MORE than happy to work with me and my goals.  I explained my goals to each of his teachers and they were wonderful about working with me.  I was actually surprisingly impressed with the rigor of the courses and the their willingness to keep me in the loop.  It was a great experience and he did very well; it was the perfect bridge year before he started college this year.

 

2. I teach in a 2 day/week public school co-op for homeschooled kids.  I find that most parents are happy to be hands off once they know someone else is teaching their child.  As a teacher, I wish it was more of a partnership since I only see them twice a week.  

 

3. In teaching at WTMA I find that there is a higher percentage of parents who are pretty directly involved, but many prefer to be hands off. 

 

It does take quite a bit of effort to stay involved in the classroom when you are not the primary teacher because (surprise, surprise) the students don't usually give parents/teachers all of the information.  :-)  I'll be interested to hear your synthesis of this info!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am re-posting now that my youngest has been at a public charter for a few weeks.  He's in ninth grade and it's his first PS experience.  First, I will say it's a Bard Early College high school (google for more info), and he chose it over some other schools, including private schools, because he thought it would be most similar to what he had already been doing. I am just SO impressed with this school, and ds loves it.  He IS my "bloom where planted" child so he might be just the same anywhere.  

 

What is apparent is that the classical education he had, such as it is, at home, was very good preparation for Bard.  The classes are taught by PhDs and so far, he doesn't even have any textbooks, though his Chinese teacher does employ workbooks in class that the students use for writing and translating practice.  And he has brought home a few worksheets; they've been history maps and packets of math drill\very short problems.  There is a physics text, Hewitt's Conceptual Physics (a personal fave of mine), but they only use it in class.  The biggest reason ds is so well-prepared IMO is just that he knows how to think through a question, he is not afraid to speak in class, and is thoughtful and can write decently.  The school treats the students like adults.  There are no petty rules like dress codes, bathroom passes, or detention for unfinished home work or anything or that matter. One sad result of that is that there are a couple of students that have been significant behavior problems, but in general the kids have all risen impressively to the occasion.  Not surprisingly, at least 3 of the students are former home schoolers.  There may be others that I do not know about.  And all are thriving, which makes me very happy.  

 

So to revisit your first question, Susan, I will say that customizing the classroom situation for my son is pretty limited in his situation, because he is high school age and has no particular special needs.  At least, nothing that we've needed to address yet, though that may change.  Because he missed part of the summer bridge week, he did not take the math placement test, and I was disappointed that no one at the school had this on their radar.  If I had not asked about math placement and advocated for him, he would have simply been placed in algebra with most of the other ninth graders.  A second trip through algebra wouldn't have done him serious harm, but I kind of hated to waste that entire year we spent on it, and he aced the placement test for geometry.  So I did learn a lesson to pay attention; it has not been needed again yet.  

 

As far as the ripple effect, I have no doubt that the fact that parents now have home education as a choice has an impact on schools in my area.  I think the private prep schools are probably affected more than the public schools, because they are catering to families that care a lot about education and those are also, logically, the ones more inclined to home school.  Some of them went out of their way to validate our choice, and I assume that means they are hoping to build a reputation of friendliness to former home schoolers.  4 years ago one of the private schools advertised as offering classes to home schoolers in language and the sciences; they proposed both after school, separate classes and allowing home schooled students to attend their regular classes during school hours.  It never happened; the few classes they actually offered were cancelled at the last minute for low enrollment.  The price they were charging was honestly exhorbitant and I doubt the current parents whose children attend the school would have been receptive if it had been any lower.  And why would a home school parent pay a fortune for high school bio when they can enroll their kid in CC for a fraction of that cost, plus get a more advanced course in the process?  It was an interesting little revelation for me-it made me think the schools charging $25K per year for first grade are struggling more and more to find people to pay for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

My middle son is now attending a charter school.  He is 10th grade.  He was homeschooled up until the end of 9th grade.

 

We spent some time researching schools before sending him and after talking to a few people who were former homeschoolers whose kids transitioned to this charter well, we opted to send him.

 

For the past two years or so, I have gradually been more and more hands off in his education.  I would give assignments, but it was up to him to actually follow through.   In 9th grade we attended a HS coop that gave out grades and after a few "oh, I didn't realize she meant I had to turn it in THIS week" grades, he finally got that a deadline was a deadline.  I think that year of coop really helped him understand how a B&M school worked.

 

One thing I LOVE about this school is that they use a program that grades online.  I can log on to his account and see immediately how he did on a test or assignment as the teachers post grades often.  This has helped us tremendously as he knows when to beef up his study times to get a stellar grade to make up for a more mediocre grade, etc.....

 

I realize this immediate feedback won't be there in college but he has 3 years of high school to get it more together before that happens.  

 

He is also taking 2 honors classes.  He isn't used to that type of rigor, but he is a smart kid and doing ok in spite of himself.  We hope he will take 1 or 2 APs by next year.  

 

 

My youngest will go to the same school next year (sibling priority as they didn't have room for him this year.)  He is my gifted child so I don't anticipate any issues.  He is also very social.

 

Oldest is 17 and has LDs, and the reason we started HSing in the first place.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

I graduated from public school in 2012. In my senior year, our entire algebra class was failing. We could not understand any of the content. I was acing all my college and AP courses, but this algebra 2 class was so difficult. Our teacher always apologized, saying he knew easier ways to solve these problems but had to teach us the way he was told. One day we had a substitute teacher who actually retired from the high school as a math teacher long before certain standards were put in place. He was shocked at the textbooks we showed him, then angry. He spent the rest of class teaching us the "old-school" methods of everything we had learned thus far. And he had a few choice words about how education has regressed. Anyway. He began tutoring us after school every week. It wasn't homeschooling obviously, but he utilized the same principles to help us navigate the murky waters of modern public school education. Everyone started getting good grades after that.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

DD attended Eagleridge Enrichment Program, which is offered by the Mesa Unified School District in Mesa, AZ The years we homeschooled (1st-5th). I was mostly hands-off, though some of the class choices once she was in the grades where classes were chosen (3rd and up) I chose a few that played into things I wanted reinforcement for (AR proved a good motivator), and things we couldn't do at home (drama, choir).

 

Once she started a regular brick and mortar school, her familiarity with the classroom environment and changing classes helped. I provided her a lot of organizational support at first, and homework help, but by mid-year she had the hang of things and prefers to go to her teachers for extra help.

I thought I would follow up on this. DD regressed in math while in her one year of school. We tried an online school the next year, and that did not go well. We are back to homeschooling and DD will return to Eagleridge.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...